Safe Communities seeks to counter preference decision
A TEAM of volunteers from Safe Communities lobbying arm Rite-ON has been active in three Sunshine Coast seats with the goal of negating the impact on marginal LNP seats of One Nation's decision to preference all sitting members last or next to last.
Rite-ON spokesperson Gary Graham said the volunteers wore the orange of the One Nation Party to attract the attention of its voters to ensure they were fully informed of the consequence of following the Hanson party's how to vote card.
On the Sunshine Coast Rite-ON was active in Maroochydore, Caloundra and Glass House but Mr Graham said they were also present at every marginal LNP seat.
"We want to prevent preference leakage to Labor," he said.
Tight margins in Glass House particularly but also in Caloundra could potentially see the preferences of One Nation voters elect Labor members.
"We're not happy about the way One Nation preferences Labor above the LNP in these seats," Mr Graham said.
"We want to ensure voters' preferences align with their intentions and not just blindly follow One Nation's How to Vote cards."
One Nation chief-of-staff James Ashby said the decision by its executive to place all sitting members of parliament last on its How to Vote cards had come when it became clear both old parties were placing Steve Dickson last on theirs.
"Both Labor and the LNP accused One Nation of doing deals with the other and it was important we sent a clear message out to voters that we were not beholden to either of them," Mr Ashby said.
"One Nation have gone to great lengths to explain to voters that how-to-vote cards are only a recommendation. Voters from the last three elections we have stood candidates in have demonstrated they're less likely to follow the how-to-vote cards than ever before.
"Safa Communities have the same rights as the unions and organisations like Get Up to demonstrate their opinions at the polling booth, however One Nation have a different position to them this election."
Rite-ON's campaign material has been approved and registered by the Electoral Commission Queensland and Mr Graham confirmed there would be a strong presence in the three seats on election day.
Caloundra Labor candidate Jason Hunt said Rite-ON supporters were standing at pre-poll booths in orange clothing handing out double-sided how to vote cards.
On one side is a suggested voting pattern for LNP voters which places Mark McArdle first, One Nation's Rod Jones second, Marcus Finch (Greens) third and Mr Hunt fourth.
On the other side a card labelled for One Nation voters place Mr Jones first, Mr McArdle second and Mr Hunt fourth.
The official One Nation card has Mr Jones 1, Mr Hunt 2, Mr McArdle 3 and Mr Finch 4.